Cohen delays Europe tour after back injury

Canadian singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen has postponed an upcoming European tour by six months after hurting his lower back while exercising.

A statement said his doctors advised the 75-year-old to follow the same four- to six-month regimen of physical therapy as athletes do with similar injuries.

A spokeswoman declined to specify what Cohen was doing when he hurt himself. He appeared fairly nimble when he accepted a Grammy Award for lifetime achievement in Los Angeles and recited his wry poem "Tower of Song" to the audience.

The nine-date tour, set to begin on March 1 in the French city of Caen, will now begin on 15 September, with shows scheduled through to 7 October in Moscow.

Cohen has played 191 shows around the world since returning to the concert trail in May 2008 after a 15-year absence. During his hiatus he became a Zen Buddhist monk at a mountain hideaway near Los Angeles. His comeback was necessitated by a former manager's mishandling of his finances.

Cohen, who is known to take years to craft a new song, has just finished writing a tune called "Different Sides," his musical collaborator, Sharon Robinson, told Reuters at the Grammy event. It was not known when the song would be released. Cohen released his last studio album in 2004.